Little-known Kahlo painting heads to block at Sotheby's

A man hangs a sign as artist Frida Kahlo's painting 'Nina Con Collar' sits on an easel at Sotheby's auction house in New York. Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK - A largely unknown portrait of a young girl painted by Frida Kalho went on sale Tuesday, with auctioneers Sotheby's expecting the Mexican artist's work to fetch as much as $2 million (R28.2 million).

"Nina con collar" ("Girl with necklace") , an oil on canvas work from 1929, shows a girl with enormous dark eyes and thick eyebrows touching, seated in a chair and gazing at the onlooker.

The painting, to be auctioned on November 22, immediately evokes some of the Mexican pioneer's best-known works, the auctioneers said in a statement.

"With those elements, as well as her dress and necklace, 'Nina con collar' simply put is nothing less than the seed of the many self-portraits Kahlo would produce later in her unique style," said  Axel Stein, director of Latin American art at Sotheby's.

GALLERY: Dutch artists make waves with 'dead animal art'

A former assistant of muralist Diego Rivera received the work as a gift a year after Kahlo's death in 1954. Rivera and Kahlo had a long love affair, and married each other twice. He stayed with her until her death.

The picture until now had only been seen publicly in a black-and-white photograph taken by Lola Alvarez Bravo, a friend of Kahlo who documented her early work.

"I never imagined it would resurface and be such a lovely and warm painting," added Stein.



Discussion Policy would like to send you push notifications.
Notifications can be turned off any time in your browser settings.
You have been registered for browser notifications